"He is not handsome, but he is a thoroughly good creature, and he swims as beautifully as any of the others. I think I might venture even to add that I think he will improve as he goes on, or perhaps that he may grow smaller. He was too long in the egg, and so he has not come out with a very good figure."
-Mother Duck, The Ugly Duckling, Hans Christian Anderson

A friend of mine asked if I could make an "Ugly Duckling" because it is her son's favorite story and they would enjoy being able to act it out with a toy cygnet. A "cygnet" is, of course, a baby swan. In this case, however, I think the description "Ugly Duckling" works pretty well. He's very ungainly, but still kind of cute in his ugliness. The egg (above and below) is made from a green-gray-brown heather yarn which looks very much like a swan egg.

The egg blends in with the rocks on the shore line.

Poor lonely little bird.

The Ugly Duckling hid in a clump of grass so that the ducks wouldn't peck him and the hunters wouldn't shoot him.

Then, one day, the ugly duckling saw some birds he'd never seen before. Oh, if only he could look more like them instead of being such an ugly creature.


Finally, he grew into a graceful adult swan. "He thought of how he had been pursued and scorned, and now he heard them all say that he was the most beautiful of all beautiful birds... saying with exultation in his heart, 'I never dreamt of so much happiness when I was the Ugly Duckling!'"

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